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Old 09-10-2018, 10:58 AM
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Cast Shadow on Skin

I would like to try to paint an area of cast shadow on a portrait by glazing on top of my base skin tone, which is a very pale, kind of pink and burnt sienna color. I assume I can glaze the shadow with a complementary color, and logic suggests using a green or cyan. Would that be correct? Any other suggestions?
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Old 09-10-2018, 01:48 PM
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

For what it is worth, I think the base color is more a very pale orange than pinkish.
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:40 PM
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

Oils, I assume?

I don't work with skin tones, but I do use light tan (sand, dry grass). In this case, if I want to glaze for shadow, I would not use green or cyan. I would use Indanthrone Blue (alternatively, Ultramarine). Advantage to Indanthrone is its lower chroma, compared to Ultramarine.

The key word is chroma. Any glaze is not purely subtractive. Some light will be reflected directly from the glaze color, no matter how transparent it is. This effect varies with viewing angle. So, a highly chromatic green or cyan (I assume you refer to the Phthalo colors) might be overpowering. Even Ultramarine can be overpowering, if used straight.

If you do wish to use green or cyan, consider reducing its chroma with a transparent red or orange (or brown). If you have Burnt Sienna, start there. "Transparent Earth" colors might be good, if you have any.

My variety of Raw Umber is semi-transparent, and is a good mixing complement to Indanthrone Blue or Ultramarine. So I can make a dull blue glaze with the right mixture. Also, W&N's "Transparent Red Ochre" is a good mixing complement to Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), which is cyan, so I can make a dull cyan that way. If you need a dull transparent green, beginning with one of the Phthalo greens, I'd try controlling it with something such as PV19 in one of its forms (depends).

But my level of expertise in this is very small. Just providing suggestions.

One other thing: Plenty of modern artists are not afraid of shadows, even on skin, that are distinctively green or cyan or blue or whatever. It's a matter of style.
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:08 PM
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

Thank you, Pinguino. I paint with acrylics but I think the glazing techniques are fairly transferable.
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:49 PM
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

Terre Verte hue (Golden line) is just the ticket in very soft, dull green for portrait glazing, perhaps. Worked a treat, the real deal, in watercolour for me.
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:10 PM
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

Quote:
Originally Posted by KolinskyRed
Terre Verte hue (Golden line) is just the ticket in very soft, dull green for portrait glazing, perhaps. Worked a treat, the real deal, in watercolour for me.
Thanks. So you would glaze with this color to create a shadow?
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:24 PM
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

I like glazes of PB60 or PV23 or some hue near one of those for caucasian skin colors. There again though, it depends on the part of the flesh, the lighting and shadow situation, the reflected lights, and the intensity of the light hitting the lit parts of the skin nearby (subsurface scattering tends to make skin appear more reddish in the shadow areas).
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:20 PM
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMSS
Thanks. So you would glaze with this color to create a shadow?




A mix in my case of New Gamboge and Permanent AC, very dilute and pale for the sunlit face skin.



For turning the face form away from the light the same two paints with the addition of a family group darkener (nearby and darker in masstone) for me it was Burnt Sienna. To the far side of this passage to lighten it on the far edge broad plane (that is, the jawline/cheekbone near ear in self shadow) a lightening with a just yellow stroke to melt in with the just-applied passage.


Within this just completed area, or out in the sunlight skin, I may have cast shadows of facial features onto skin. The above mix( NG+PAC+BS), with a touch of whichever blue I like to make it deeper shadow - yes. But, still I may touch in that yellow again in a spot to suggest reflected light.



Then once dry, I applied a very dilute wash of Terre Verte to dull this just the tiniest bit, if needed, and it had the effect of unifying things more. And if I had erred on the side to too red/too chromatic, it toned this down too. Deciding whether to do this for the self-shadowing area, the cast shadow or the sunlit skin.



I think I would complete a background first before judging this, though.


Hope this help.


Of course, with the watercolours there's partial mingling.



Cheers!
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:50 PM
Ju-Ju-Beads Ju-Ju-Beads is offline
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

Why don’t you post a photo of the painting? That would allow a better understanding of what you’re dealing with.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:00 PM
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

Glazing to get the shadow color is an option but it might not be the easiest; the color result might be a bit unpredictable so you might have to do some experimenting/ trial & error till you get the color that looks right and fits in with the surrounding colors without looking out of place. The right glazing color might or might not be a complement.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:44 AM
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMSS
I would like to try to paint an area of cast shadow on a portrait by glazing on top of my base skin tone, which is a very pale, kind of pink and burnt sienna color. I assume I can glaze the shadow with a complementary color, and logic suggests using a green or cyan. Would that be correct? Any other suggestions?
yeah, the complement of burnt sienna can range in blues from a middle ultramarine or cobalt to phthalo hues, I think the complement of pink would be
a greener blue through a true green.
But I think a glaze with a darker value of the pink or burnt sienna may be an option too.
Look for reflected lights in the shadow area too.

Last edited by sidbledsoe : 09-15-2018 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:59 AM
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

Thanks to all for your responses. Ultimately, I gave up on the glaze. I need to improve my glazing skills. So, I just painted the shadows opaquely. I am not happy with the result, I think because the shadows come out either too dark or too light. I went with too dark. On to the next painting and more practice with glazing.
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:01 AM
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick1
Glazing to get the shadow color is an option but it might not be the easiest; the color result might be a bit unpredictable so you might have to do some experimenting/ trial & error till you get the color that looks right and fits in with the surrounding colors without looking out of place. The right glazing color might or might not be a complement.
Yes, I agree with all of this.
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:02 AM
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidbledsoe
But I think a glaze with a darker value of the pink or burnt sienna may be an option too.
Look for reflected lights in the shadow area too.
I think so, too.
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:25 AM
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Gigalot Gigalot is offline
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Re: Cast Shadow on Skin

May be you need to do Scumbling rather than Glazes to paint portraits?
https://www.thoughtco.com/scumbling-...hnique-2578777
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